“Back to School” …oh, how I remember dreading that phrase. And, of course, it’s that time of year right now! Since you’re going back to school, though, you probably need to gear up for the coming school year, and that’s the fun part.
Why buy some boring, uncomfortable, utilitarian book bag when The North Face and Patagonia both feature a full line of day packs that are just as good on an evening hike as they are at lugging books around? This stuff is bombproof whether you cram it full of school books or climbing gear, brightly-colored so you can find it in a pile of bags, and packed with features for outdoor recreation for playing when you’re done with school or work.
The American Chiropractic Association has officially endorsed several of the day packs and backpacks from The North Face, citing the injection molded shoulder straps and improved fit of the back panels. In fact, when The North Face wanted to revise their day pack line, they did so with the consultation of a chiropractic physician as well as the ACA.
The North Face day packs endorsed are the gender-specific models: Borealis, Recon and Surge. These packs have a special tag designating them as ACA-accredited. With padded & stowable hip belts, comfortable Airmesh back panels with a spine channel for extra support, you won’t throw your back out when it’s full of books, and you’ll have energy left over for an evening hike.
Not to be forgotten are the unisex day packs from The North Face, like the Heckler day pack. With exterior shock cords and mesh side pockets, plus plenty of organization help, this one is especially popular, and it’s easy to see why!
The North Face day packs featured in this article:
- The North Face Borealis day pack (27 liters)
Men’s Borealis / Women’s Borealis
- The North Face Recon day pack (30 liters)
Men’s Recon / Women’s Recon
- The North Face Surge day pack (33 liters)
Men’s Surge / Women’s Surge
- The North Face Heckler day pack
Any discussion about Patagonia day packs probably has to start with the Patagonia Atacama pack. The Atacama is a dual-compartment day pack, and the outer compartment is separated from the inner by a waterproof barrier. If you’re caught in a rainstorm and need a place for your wet rain jacket when it’s over, or you’re planning to head straight from the beach to class, you can keep your wet gear in this outer pocket.
Mesh panels allow for drainage and provide ventilation so your wet stuff actually dries instead of accruing mildew. It also features lashing straps on the back for securing gear, and side stretch pockets for water bottles.
This wet/dry day pack also features a sleeve that will happily accommodate a 17″ laptop or a hydration bladder… though we don’t recommend trying both at once!
All of the Patagonia day packs feature a padded laptop sleeve, multiple carrying options and unmatched Patagonia quality; all but the single-compartment Yerba and Violeta feature compression straps to help stabilize pack contents. The Chacabuco and Cascada include shock cord for lashing extra items to the outside. The Chacabuco, Refugio & Fuego offer three compartments for keeping your stuff organized. The Violeta and Cascada are designed specifically for women.
Basically, if you’re active and need a day pack, Patagonia has the right one for you! These are wonderfully lightweight, as well; none of these Patagonia day packs weighs more than 2 pounds.
- Patagonia Atacama day pack (28 liters)
- Patagonia Refugio day pack (28 liters)
- Patagonia Fuego day pack (32 liters)
- Patagonia Yerba day pack (22 liters)
- Patagonia Chacabuco day pack (32 liters)
- Patagonia Violeta women’s day pack (25 liters)
- Patagonia Cascada women’s day pack (30 liters)
So, “back to school” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Pick out a sweet new pack, and at the end of the day you can ditch the books and hit the trail before the sun goes down. School is tough, and these day packs are tough enough for the job.